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Increase in fines for illegally passing school buses

The first day of school means those big yellow buses are back on the roads again.

Now, those who ignore the bus stop signs and flashing lights will see an even bigger fine than before.

Lawmakers made some changes to Title 49 of Idaho statute. Passing a school bus with the stop-arm extended is now a $200 offense, the first time.

On the third offense, drivers can expect to pay up to $600.

Those hefty fines will pay to install cameras on the buses, which will take pictures of cars that illegally pass the bus when its stopped.

“When they’re loading and unloading then they’re stepping out into traffic, or lanes of traffic, to get on the bus,” said Craig Leiby, school district 25’s transportation coordinator. “Sometimes we have to cross them across the road, which is an acceptable way to pick up and drop off. But then if motorists are not paying attention, and they’re speeding and not following the laws, then there’s a very high potential of a student to be hit or struck by a motorist.”

Leiby also said it’s important to follow the speed limits in school zones, as children in the area often walk to school and could potentially be hit by drivers not paying attention.

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